Do you get ice-cream-choice anxiety? With so many options to choose from, how can you be sure you’re choosing the best flavours? How do you know they will work well together? Friends, the struggle is real.
You can try 12 signature Häagen-Dazs flavours at the Häagen-Dazs House pop-up at Federation Square: raspberry sorbet; strawberries and cream; vanilla; pralines and cream; salted caramel; mango and raspberry; caramel biscuit and cream; Belgian chocolate; coffee; macadamia-nut brittle; green tea; and mint leaves and chocolate.
Because trying them all at once would be madness we’ve asked Häagen-Dazs’ professional ice-cream taste-tester, Alison Gray, for her top combinations. Because who knows the subtleties of each flavour better than the person who helped create them?
If you love fruit
If your tastes lean toward fresh and fruity and you like sorbets, Gray recommends a trio that includes one sorbet and two creamier fruit-based flavours. “This is the perfect combo of creamy ice-cream and tangy sorbet,” says Gray. It’s also her personal-favourite combo.
Recommended combination: raspberry sorbet; mango and raspberry; strawberries and cream
If you love vanilla
There’s no shame in liking vanilla ice-cream. Sure, it may not seem as exciting as the rest, but it’s a great base to work from, especially when teamed with more complex flavours. “Start with the classic vanilla and see how it can be transformed into something completely different with the addition of crunchy macadamia brittle, and then with creamy caramel sauce and caramelised pecan nuts,” says Gray.
Recommended combination: vanilla; pralines and cream; macadamia nut brittle
If you love caramel
There’s more to caramel than having it salted, and Gray suggests getting to know the flavour in all its guises: “crunchy salted brittle, creamy caramel swirls and sweet caramelised pecan nuts – plus crumbly Speculoos (spiced shortcrust biscuits).”
Recommended combination: salted caramel; caramel biscuit and cream; pralines and cream
If you love the classics
Choosing classic flavours is a great way to distinguish the quality of the ice-cream. Gray obviously recommends vanilla and chocolate, but the third scoop (coffee) can be substituted for strawberry if you’re a super-traditional traditionalist. Choosing strawberry also means you’ve created your very own super-premium Neapolitan ice-cream.
Recommended combination: vanilla, Belgian chocolate, coffee
If you love simplicity
Gray chose these three flavours because each only contains five ingredients. You can’t get much simpler. Pay special attention to the green tea flavour which is one of Gray’s favourites. “It’s a really authentic Japanese recipe and contains the highest-quality matcha green tea,” she says. “It’s quite strong, too.”
Recommended combination: green tea, vanilla, strawberries and cream
So now that you have your flavours sorted it’s time to experience them at their full potential. Gray tries to use all five senses when tasting ice-cream. “When you taste, breathe deeply through your nose, close your eyes and the flavours you experience will intensify,” she says.
As an ice-cream taste tester Gray can taste up to 20 flavours in one sitting. To ensure the flavours don’t get muddled she recommends rinsing your mouth between flavours. “Warm water is good,” she says. “But if you don’t like that, warm rosehip tea is an excellent palate cleanser.”
The Häagen-Dazs House is open from Tuesday to Sunday until April 16 at Federation Square.
This article is presented in partnership with Häagen-Dazs.